Monthly Archives: September 2011

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

See the Book That Was Kept in Storage for 800 Years

Stammheim Missal on display in the Getty Museum galleries

One of the most exciting aspects of curatorial work is the privilege of bringing you great works of art that were rarely seen before their acquisition by the museum. Case in point: the Stammheim Missal, one of the greatest manuscripts… More»

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Posted in Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Conservation Institute, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Gray Column Rises

Gray Column / De Wain Valentine

One of the most influential sculptors active in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, De Wain Valentine is perhaps best known for his striking, semitransparent, and delicately colored large-scale polyester resin sculptures of simple geometric forms that interact intensely… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Exploring 18th-Century Fashion, Garment by Garment


Did you know that artists used pig bladders to carry paint before tubes were invented, that the gold leaf used to gild paintings and manuscripts was made by pounding a coin into thin sheets, or that 18th-century fashion designers used… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Photographs, Film, and Video

Faces of the Mexican Revolution

General Francisco (Pancho) Villa / D. W. Hoffman

When we think of the Mexican Revolution, many of us probably conjure up images of Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata, two of the most well-known figures from the ten-year civil war (1910-1920) that raged across Mexico during the early years… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Living Artifact: “Trojan Women (after Euripides)” Premieres Tonight


Tonight at 8:00 p.m., the Getty Villa becomes a stage for the premiere of Trojan Women (after Euripides). It’s the culmination of years of work and refinement, both for SITI Company (presenting the play) and for the team at the… More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Far from Marginal: Images in the Margins of the Abbey Bible

Dominican and Franciscan Friars Singing at Lecterns, Conducted by Christ in the Abbey Bible / Italian

We use the word “marginal” to dismiss something as unimportant or trivial. But images in the margins of medieval books are so important they get their own name, marginalia, a Latin term that simply means “things in the margins.” Sometimes… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

A Project of Seismic Proportions

Earthen structures in the vast adobe city of Chan Chan, capital of the Chimu Kingdom in present-day Perum

As Californians, we are well aware of the damage that results from earthquakes, even in new buildings constructed with modern materials. But what happens to historic buildings made of earthen materials such as adobe? These structures can be particularly vulnerable… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Discovering Latin at the Getty Villa

Students in the Academia Aestiva Latina show off their bouquets garnis in the Getty Villa’s Herb Garden

If you visited the Getty Villa during the week of July 25 and thought you overheard people speaking Latin, you weren’t imagining things. That week, we at the Getty Villa were proud to invite a group of 14 high school students… More»

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      #ProvenancePeek: Winslow Homer at the Met

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      The provenance of this Winslow Homer marine, or seascape, is relatively straightforward as these things go. It was entered into the stock books of M. Knoedler and Co, prominent New York art dealers, in October of 1901. Knoedler & Co purchased the painting, titled Cannon Rock, from Chicago pastor and educator Dr. Frank Gunsaulus on October 24, 1901. Just over two weeks later, on November 9, the firm sold it to art collector and dry goods merchant George Arnold Hearn. Hearn made a gift of his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1906, and that is where Cannon Rock has lived ever since.

      This seascape is one of Homer’s later works, notable for its flatness. Homer spent the last 25 years of his life living in coastal Maine, painting land- and seascapes that both respect and challenge nature’s authority. Cannon Rock’s mellow provenance tale belies the powerful scene it presents.

      The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database which anyone can query for free.

      Cannon Rock, 1895, Winslow Homer. Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George A. Hearn, 1906 (above); pages from the Knoedler stock and sales books listing the painting (below).


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.


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